Friday, January 14, 2011

New York Couples

One of my "secret" haunts in NYC is Sotheby's, the auction house. They hold open exhibitions in advance of every auction and, unlike many galleries and museums, they almost always allow photography. Much of the artwork on display is coming from private collections and will end up in private hands. As such, the exhibitions are a rare opportunity to view art created by master artists that may never again be on public view.

Sotheby's was exhibiting the highlights of the upcoming London auction of Impressionist and Modern Art as well as a series of pieces from Looking Closely: A Private Collection. The viewing was like being in my own private museum. So join me and a few very special "New York Couples" in a visit to Sotheby's...


First, I would like to introduce you to a couple of Picassos. Who at first glance could imagine that the following two paintings were made by the same artist?

Portrait D'Olga - 1923 - Estimate $2,020,000-$2,790,000

La Lecture - 1932 - Estimate $18,570,000-$27,860,000


Meet Annette and Diego,a pair of paintings from Alberto Giacometti.

Annette - 1961 - Estimate $3,170,00-$4,750,00

Diego - 1958 - Estimate $4,650,000-$7,740,000


We have a very New York couple in Francis Bacon and Lucien Freud.

Francis Bacon - Three Studies for Portrait of Lucien Freud - 1964 - Estimate $11,090,000-$14,250,000

Lucien Freud - Self Portrait - 1952 - 5" x 3 1/4" - Estimate $950,000-$1,270,000


This Dubuffett was flying solo but, with a face like this, will no doubt be part of a couple soon.

Jean Dubuffett - Le Barbouille - 1954 - Estimate $950,000-$1,270,000


My favorite couple by far was a pair of rombos or diamonds.

Antoni Tapies - Negro con Dos Rombos - 1963 - Estimate $475,000-$635,000

One of my favorite artists, Antoni Tapies creates abstract work that speaks to me in terms of his choice of color palette, his use of symbols and found objects, and the textural quality of his surfaces. The spectacular textures he achieves are usually lost in photos but there are some detail shots below that will give you a better idea. Texture junkies like me can click each image to enlarge.






34 comments:

Jaime Haney aka ArtsyFartsy.Me said...

These are incredible. Thank you for sharing your photos. What a great idea to photograph these before as you say they might not ever be seen by the public again. I didn't know you couldn't take photographs in the museums.

Jill Zaheer said...

What a spectacular showing- and just think, I didn't even have to leave my house!! Just love the thought of this private rendez vous with these couples- hmmm- not too voyeuristic, right? My favorite couple-The Picassos! As for Dubuffett, I hope he has an awfully great personality- I think he'll need it to find his perfect partner! Thanks for this super auction house treat!

elizabeth said...

Such a lyrical Olga.
I like it better than any other Picasso portrait I've ever seen.
Not certain that Mr.Redface will hook up soon.......
Did yo ever find a use for the little brown velvet bag?

Dyche Designs said...

Seth I can see why you were drawn to the diamonds, the texture speaks to me too. I also loved the pair by Alberto Giacometti.

What a fascinating glimpse into a world I wouldn't get the opportunity to see. Thanks for being our eyes.

lyle baxter said...

seth, thanks for a delightful tour on a cold, snow covered morning. I am torn - liked your choice and the red faced cutie too!

Junkin' Yaya! said...

What an honor to be able to be "up close and personal" with these Masters! Thanks for sharing...xo

MrCachet said...

What medium is being used to get such texture?

angryparsnip said...

Wow, did not know this about Sotheby's.
What a wonderful treat to be able to see all this art up close.

cheers, parsnip

Suzanne said...

Wow! - that's it just 'wow'.
Thanks for sharing them.

Robert said...

Thanks for the Sotheby's tour, Seth. Love the close-ups of Tapies's "Negro con Dos Rombos." Nice! Also, I've always loved Giacometti's paintings. I've seen a number of them in person, and for me, with all of their wonderful visual texture, they just seem like a natural extension of his sculpture. Great post, Seth!

Jen said...

what a cool idea. auction houses...who knew?!?

and can I just say "Antoni Tapies" ... never knew but won't soon forget. I can understand why you relate to his work. Your's has a strong kindred spirit.

Off to drool ..er.. browse some more.

ArtPropelled said...

What a wonderful opportunity to see and photograph these pieces. Love the
Giacometti's and the Tapies.

mansuetude said...

fascinating! You can do this more often, i like.

teri said...

Thanks. I didn't know this was there - going to run right over.

Laura said...

This is wonderful Seth, thanks. And I followed the link to Sothebys. Not quite the same as being there in person, but nice to see some of my favorite painters in the catalogs before they go into personal collections. Too bad I'm not a New Yorker!

Marit said...

Some of my favourite artists here (Giacometti, Bacon) aaahhhh... I don't know if I would hang the paintings in my living room though - I might get depressed - but the images are sooo strong and wonderful!

lynne h said...

ah, that dubuffet piece...

Lisa said...

i can't think of a better place than Sotheby's to view some real masterpieces. i would love to view the piece by Tapies in person...love the way you integrated it into the mix.

Lynn said...

Wow, what an experience! Thanks for sharing.

keron lee said...

hey Seth - thanks for sharing - I have never really been a fan of Picasso - but surprisingly - though the others are really interesting too - the stand out for me is La Lecture - I love the gesture created by the curvilinear motion of his mark making. Fascinating. thanks xK

Leslie said...

Thanks for the tour Seth. I think I like Picassa's Olga, but, I also like Giacometti's pair.

What a great place to see some wonderful artwork!

rivergardenstudio said...

Oh, these are amazing Seth, especially the Antoni Tapies painting. The cuts and grooves are so beautifully carved out, so spontaneous they seem... Thanks so much for this showing. roxanne

Deryn Mentock said...

Nice group of friends you have here!

Anonymous said...

Many thanks. Price difference between Picasso's traditional versus cubist work interesting, possibly size was a factor? In my opinion, his work, above all, deserves the high prices they command. The others? Not so sure. I guess the artists name speaks louder than their work.

Kim Palmer said...

Some absolute show stoppers here! Love Tapies texture, the cracking and how the medium seems to flake away from the surface. Thanks for the close ups.
I'm scrabbling around in my change drawer for some coins to put towards purchasing those Giacometti pieces though. Do you think $2.75 will cover it? Umm, maybe not, LOL!

Trudi Sissons - Two Dresses Studio said...

Thanks again Seth for allowing me an arm chair visit into the vibrant art life of NYC!

alteredbits said...

you are so lucky to live there! sotheby's is somewhere i've always wanted to know -- and more now that i know you can photograph. these pieces are all so stunning and it's such a treat that you've shared. thank you so much!

layers said...

One of my favorite artists is Antoni Tapies also-- you are so fortunate and lucky to live in the mecca of the art world.

Gillian McMurray said...

You are so lucky to be able to experience these pieces. Thanks for sharing.

deb said...

so envious that you saw those two Giacometti paintings... wow

urbandon (Don Pezzano) said...

Put me down for the realist Picasso. Thanks.

Dave said...

Thanks for posting these images. It's great to see works, as you pointed out, might not be seen in public again!

Pam McKnight said...

this was great, thanks for sharing!

*jean* said...

texture junkies...pffft that made laugh...i know exactly what you mean...thanks for the trip down sotheby lane...delight+full